MICK’S THE MAN: Mick McCarthy aims to bring the feel-good factor back to Portman Road

The season starts here.

Mick McCarthy will today be officially unveiled as the man tasked with lifting Ipswich Town off the bottom of the Championship.

At the same time, the 53-year-old former Wolves boss will look to return a feel-good factor to Portman Road and bring smiles back to the faces of long-suffering Town fans.

McCarthy’s first job will be overseeing Saturday’s trip to Birmingham City as the Blues look to win their first match in 13 and close the gap at the foot of the second-tier.

Regarded in the game as a no-nonsense, straight-talking manager, McCarthy will be entering a dressing room rocked by allegations this week – from loan midfielder Richie Wellens – that not enough Town players care about losing.

Avoiding relegation will be his only priority this season and he will use his 20 years in management, both in the Championship, Premier League and on the international stage, to achieve that aim.

But the man who famously promised – and achieved – Premier League football within three years of his appointment at Molineux will have loftier ambitions.

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It is widely understood that McCarthy rejected the manager’s position at Nottingham Forest in the summer as he eyed an instant return to the top-flight.

But this hunger to get back in the game, having been sacked by Wolves in February, meant the challenge of lifting Ipswich from years of mediocrity was too great to turn down.

The former Republic of Ireland manager is widely expected to appoint Terry Connor as his assistant after the pair worked together at Molineux.

But we understand Matt Holland will not yet be offered a role in the Town coaching set-up. It remains to be seen whether that changes in the future.

While Blues fans will be disappointed by the potential omission of their much-loved former skipper, they will be fully behind their new manager as a new era at Portman Road begins.